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Crash Test Girl: An Unlikely Experiment in Using the Scientific Method to Answer Life's Toughest Questions

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  594 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Kari Byronformer host of the wildly popular, iconic cult classic MythBustersshows how to crash test your way through life, no lab coat required.

Kari Byrons story hasnt been a straight line. She started out as a broke artist living in San Francisco, writing poems on a crowded bus on the way to one of her three jobs. Many curve balls, unexpected twists, and yes, literal and
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ebook, 256 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by HarperOne
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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Brian's Book Blog
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Great Book For Young Women

I know that I am by far not the target audience for this book but I still enjoyed it. I was a huge Mythbusters fan and I did enjoy White Rabbit Project so when I saw that Kari was writing a book I had to have it.  When I saw that she was releasing an audiobook and narrating it herself I was even more excited.

Crash Test Girl gives life lessons from a woman who's "crash tested" her way through life's major and minor decisions. It is full of advice on how to be a strong
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talia
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading Kari Byron's Crash Test Girl is like having a conversation with a trusted friend. Warm, funny, and full of wisdom, this memoir/self-help guide uses the clever format of experimentation, a nod to Byron's time on the Discovery Channel show MythBusters.

Each chapter focuses on an aspect of Byron's life, ranging from love to money to creativity, and begins with a related anecdote, often from the MythBusters shop. Then Byron delves into her personal history, recounting episodes from her
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Cloak88
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars for this excellent biography

Kari Byron recounts her career, life and her experiences with the Mythbusters. Covering everything from her early days in school, her interest in art and science, relationships, metal health and a host of other subject, this is well written biography. Kari includes both the good and the bad and doen't shy away from some of the more negative experiences she has had. Prominently featured in all this is also her role as a woman in both the field of science and
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Koen Crolla
Jan 09, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Lessons from Crash Test Girl:

1. Publishing houses publishing autobiographies really need, in addition to the usual editor, someone who can take the author aside and go "This anecdote/narrative you've constructed makes you look like a sociopath, are you sure you want to include it?".
2. Overthinking isn't the same thing as introspection and neurosis isn't the same thing as self-awareness.
3. There are a lot of therapists who think their job is to hand shitty people rationalisations to let them live
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Carrie ♠
I totally forgot to come back after such a long time to provide a review. Here is my review, as of February 28, 2020....

I wasnt quite sure what to expect from the book. However, anytime that the author reads their own book, I find to enjoy it that much more. I was not disappointed by Karis story. Her memoir talked a bit about her career before she joined Mythbusters. Each section of the book is written a bit like a science experiment formatQuestion, Hypothesis, Experiment, Analysis and
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Katie
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I learned so much about Kari and her crazy life--it's incredible that you think you know a person from TV and then find out so much more about their life than you thought you knew. Not only does she not have any science background or degree at all (which gives me hope about myself!), but her childhood and young adult life wasn't easy. She gives great advice to females (and males should read this book and truly understand her frustration with how females are perceived in science), and I can and ...more
Liz
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sweet, endearing, and wonderful. As a mother and a woman in science and education, I have an incredible amount of respect and feels for Kari.
Martijn Reintjes
This book felt like a series of Instagram posts by an aunt who tries to be hip and cool for her nieces.
Kari tells her life story, but it never goes very deep. It's mostly about her successes and with those she tries to inspire (and get likes). She seems painfully unaware of her own survivors bias and when she tells about her struggles in life, she always makes it seem that it wasn't so bad or backs a weird joke about it.

I listened to this book after listening to Adam Savage's auto-biography and
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Ruth
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
While it had its moments, Crash Test Girl lacks the cohesiveness needed to really work. Sometimes it reads like a guide for teen girls, sometimes it reads like an Eat, Pray, Love-style book of self discovery, and sometimes it's just a memoir. The illustrations and asides are nice; however, they are placed at random, often cutting off a thought mid-sentence for two pages (that would be forgivable for illustrations, but it's completely ill-placed for the written asides). A little bit of focus--and ...more
Kate
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: bio
Shallow.
Derek
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Maybe I was expecting more but it was really flat and a struggle to finish, (almost didn't) mostly a bio with a touch of behind the scenes of the show.
Paul
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Unstructured
Malin Friess
Aug 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
A strange (question and answer format) --and not really tested that masquerades as an autobiography. Didn't much gain traction with this book.
Terri
Oct 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
AUDIOBOOK:

couldn't get into it at all.
Jeff Kalac
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Generally speaking, I tend to love books like Kari Byron's "Crash Test Girl." Specifically about this book, I found myself not wanting it to end. But end it had to, and this is a fast read (even if my time demanded that I read it in sips). Fortunately, it packs quite a punch.

My exposure to Ms. Bryon began at the same place as I imagine that it did for most of you: Discovery Channel's "Mythbusters." It was hard watching that show without the feeling that I was hanging out with the build team
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Melissa
~Disclaimer I received this book for free and quotes/page numbers are from the advanced reading copy~

In the books own words:

If youre a professional scientist reading this, great! If youre a curious person who loves the idea of dissecting what went wrong and deciding how you might do things better next time, welcome! The brilliance of the scientific method is that it is for everyone. Seriously, everyone. The scientific method can become a guiding light for you, as it is for me, and Im excited
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Justin Sylvia
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Kari Byron.. Artist, Mom, MythBusters Cast Member, Wife, etc. I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book. I guess I was kind of hoping that it would kind of be a stereotypical, by the book type. However, what I got was a little bit different. That's not to say that I didn't like it, because I did & if I could give it 3.5 stars I would. I feel like a good audience for this book, would be the young, aspiring, individualistic type of young woman who could use a good standard bearer for ...more
Brad McKenna
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoire
This should be on the Girls Who Code reading list. If there isn't such a reading list, this should be among the first chosen.

I took a break from one type of oppression (racism) to read about another type of oppression (sexism). Kari is a powerful woman, no scratch that, she's a powerful person. The crap she had to deal with being a women on not just a TV show but a scientific TV show was disheartening. While the book doesn't focus on just that, it's my biggest takeaway. Mythbusters is one of my
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Jay Kiros
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a father who named his daughter after a half Klingon chief engineer, I have always believed in empowering girls to do whatever their hearts desired. Crash Test Girl both warms my heart about the potential for girls in science, but also acts as a painful reminder that the work is unnecessarily harder for girls vs boys.

Crash Test Girl is everything you expect from the author, but a heck of a lot more. Kari does not hold back the rough times, and I think this is essential in telling her story,
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Kat
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite
This book is definitely written with a female audience in mind, however I do think men would enjoy reading it, especially fans of Karis. However I do think you would have to be a fan of Karis or at least of Mythbusters, to get something from this book. Personally I am a huge fan of Kari and loved this book.

At first I was a little apprehensive about the premise of the book, wondering if the half self-help, half memoir style of the book was a gimmick to be a little different and I was wondering
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Valerie
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book Kari proposes a framework for applying scientific-method concepts to various aspects of life, providing examples from her own experiences to show how she made her way by experimenting and learning from the results. While some of the advice was not particularly novel to a reader nearly two decades into her career, Kari is an insightful and delightful author, and I especially appreciated the chapters on bravery, depression, and setbacks. The format of the book was very engaging and ...more
Jeff
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Real "Myths". Real Woman. This memoir from one of the first female "reality tv" stars is an extremely interesting look at both her decade+ working with the (possibly arguably) the show that made her famous... and how she got there and a bit of what has happened since that fateful day in 2014 when she (and later the world) was informed that she would no longer be on that show. And she doesn't hold back too many punches, usually only being a bit circumspect when it is clear that being more direct ...more
Dawn
This is a journey into the incredible life of Kari Byron, one part biography, one part live-your-life-instruction manual, presented with the unique style thats all Kari, as she smashes the stereotype of a scientist as a white male in a lab coat.

Most noted as a star on the hit show Mythbusters, Kari Byron makes no secret about her love of creating things as much as she loves blowing things up. In this book, she talks about not only how she landed the jobas an artist with no scientific background
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Erik Sapp
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I thought this book would be a behind the scenes of Mythbusters. While there is a lot of that, there's also a lot about Byron's life before (and some after) the show.

I love how she tackles difficult subjects with honesty and humor. Since she is also the reader, the words are more than just thoughts on a page - you can hear Byron's real emotions coming through.

I had one issue with this book, and it is the reason it lost a star. (In reality, it should only be 1/2 star, but I can't do that.) Her
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Charlotte Jones
As a huge fan of Mythbusters, when I saw Kari tweet about the release of this book I just had to pick it up. I listened to this one on audiobook narrated by the author.

I know Kari Byron as one of the presenters on Mythbusters and there were some great stories about her time on the show, especially stories of being the only woman in a male dominated field. As well as this, there were stories of Kari looking back on her life and giving inspirational advice based on the scientific methods used on
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Peter Wright
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Mythbusters, so when I saw that this book existed, I was all over it! It's not a standard memoir, telling her story from beginning to present; it's divided into themed chapters and the stories grow from that. There were a couple themes that didn't interest me (style being one of them) but Kari's stories were usually interesting and engaging. I mean, SHE usually is! Of particular interest is the background about the changes that went on within Mythbusters towards the end - especially when ...more
Julian Stanley
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's an entertaining glimpse into the life and history of the deeply intricate Kari Byron. For me, this book was solely for entertainment, but I was occasionally compelled to consider specific episodes in my own history from different, more productive, perspectives.

Where was this book when I was 19? For inspiration and life advice, this book is suitable for young adults who have no clue how to live their life. It targets a female audience, but, in truth, any young adult or person stuck in deep
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Caitlin
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I adored Mythbusters from its inception. Watched and rewatched, bought merchandise, watched again. So when I heard, as the show broke up, that behind the scenes had been ugly, I was saddened. And greatly curious to see what Kari Byron had to say.

This boom isn't really about Mythbusters, but more about Kari's approach to life. Lessons learned on love, depression, and creativity (to give three examples) each make up a chapter, with text box asides and drawings scattered throughout. Mythbusters
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Jay
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2018
This autobiography was set up in a pretty cool way, with topics each discussed under a scientific-methoded experiment. An interesting way to organize a book.

Also, I didn't watch much of The MythBusters, except at Christmas and Thanksgiving when visiting family, so I enjoyed hearing how she influenced so many future (and some now current) female scientists and engineers. Nice!

I do have to say that some of what I read through, left me feeling "meh." That's why I rated the book a three. A high 3,
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Michelle
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled upon this book and immediately decided to listen to the audiobook since I love and miss Mythbusters. I was expecting funny stories about Kari Byron and inside details about Mythbusters. There was plenty of that, but there was so much more. Kari Byron welded her humorous personal stories with darker ones, talking about important issues such as alcohol and depression. She gave phenomenal career advice for women about things such as networking and taking risk. Would have given it five ...more
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Kari Byron has been the most recognizable, honored, and beloved woman in science-based reality TV for over fifteen years. On the Discovery Channel, she hosted MythBusters, the networks flagship show (and its biggest, longest-running hit, with millions of viewers per episode) from 2003 to 2016. On the Science Channel, Kari hosted Punkin Chunkin and Large, Dangerous Rocket Ships, and produced, ...more

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